News

Public service workers across the country are losing their foothold in the middle class. So says an article in The New York Times this week that serves as a reminder of why labor unions are more needed now than ever.

Lisa La Russo remembers watching the TV series “Emergency!” when she was 5.

The 1970s show featured two specially-trained firefighters/paramedics in Los Angeles County who went around saving lives. It wasn’t children’s entertainment but it spoke to La Russo.

“I felt really excited about what they did,” she recalls. “I wanted to be like them.”

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Members of AFSCME Local 4911 in Southern California are gearing up for a new round of contract negotiations which is scheduled to begin at the end of January.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – When American Medical Response (AMR) entered negotiations in early November saying it wanted to fill shifts with the “least expensive resource available,” EMS professionals in Riverside County were more than a little put off to be reduced to commodities. They responded Nov. 18 by showing up in force with a petition, signed by nearly every worker, demanding respect and a fair contract.

The company’s comments were shocking to members like EMT Himelda Rivera, who earns roughly $12 an hour and works 60 hours a week to make ends meet.

Bargaining Update: Our Unity Has Made the Difference

We have reached a new 3-year agreement with AMR pending member ratification. Once our agreement is ratified, we will be one of the few AMR workforces in California to continue our quality health care plans and provide COLAs—top steps included. The bargaining team stood strong against concessions while increasing pay, maintaining steps, and protecting health care. Click here to download a pdf of the tentative agreement.

The vote count took place on April 1, 2015, and was overseen by the AMERICAN ARBITRATION ASSOCIATION. Results were verified and endorsed by the UEMSW 4911 Election Committee. We congratulate JOHN ZENUS as our NEW ENGLAND DIRECTOR. John has taken the Oath of Office and will immediately start his term in office. Please join us in thanking Dave Norris for his service.

In Solidarity

The Election Committee:
Mike Seaver, Chair
Connie Allie
Lisa Scardino

One moment, Sami Abed, president of United EMS Workers-AFSCME Local 4911, was just a passenger on a United Airlines flight. The next moment he was a central figure in a medical emergency.

Thanks to Abed and an unnamed doctor also aboard that flight, a 68-year-old, unidentified man who might have died in the aisle was revived so that he could be taken to a hospital for treatment.